Megan Kelley Pendley, '12
Megan Kelley Pendley first started her journey with the University of North Georgia as a young girl. She spent every winter snow day sledding on the drill field and many Fourth of July’s watching fireworks. Pendley is a local to Dahlonega and always dreamed of going to UNG.
As a freshman, Pendley was involved with the Student Activities Board as a Freshman Representative. She was a part of the athletic department as a basketball cheerleader and sat on the Student Government Association. She also joined Kappa Delta Sorority. She was selected as an Intro Leader and spent her first summer helping others fall in love with the place she called home. As a sophomore, Pendley continued her rolls in SAB, SGA, and Kappa Delta Sorority. She maintained her intro position and applied to the Education Program. As a Junior, Pendley was elected President of the Student Activities Board and assisted with recruitment for Kappa Delta. She started in the Early Childhood education program and was invited to spend part of her summer teaching in Nicaragua through missions with Professor of Special Education, Alyssa Barnes.
Pendley continued to grow through the intensive education program, placement in schools, and a busy campus life. As a senior, she spent her final summer as an intro leader, which she says was one of the best summers of her life. She finalized her years as a Kappa Delta active sister, sat on SGA and SAB and was able to continue student teaching at Chestatee Elementary School in Forsyth County. After Graduation, Pendley spent her summer in Nicaragua only to get a call that she would be hired at Chestatee Elementary as a first grade teacher.
UNG truly shaped her into the well-rounded person she is today. She has spent the last six years teaching at Chestatee where she has been given many leadership opportunities, been nominated for Best of Forsyth, and is loved by her students. Pendley continued her education by receiving a Masters in Special Education from Walden University along with her Adaptive Certification. She continues to have a heart for missions in South America and is a small group leader at her church. Pendley was married in September of 2017 to Brandon Pendley and recently started her own wedding planning business called PendleyPlanning. She claims that through her time at UNG she made life-long friends and learned how to balance this crazy thing called life.
How did UNG benefit you in your career?
UNG taught me about balance. I learned critical leadership skills that allowed me to succeed in many aspects of my life. I also learned how to juggle class (good grades), student teaching, and a social life. As an adult, in the work force, balance is what keeps me my best at work. I know that I must give it my all at work and then be truly present at home and with my friends. UNG allowed me to explore so many different aspects of myself. I learned about my strengths and weaknesses and how to prioritize. The Education Program at UNG was so hands-on and had so many skilled professors. I was prepared going into my first year, while the dual program inspired me to continue to pursue a career in Special Education. Now each year I have the skills I need to teach all types of learners. My time in SAB and SGA were major stepping stones to my new start-up business PendleyPlanning. While Kappa Delta taught me so much about being a part of a team and collaborating with my peers along with helping me realize the importance of good friends. Without each of these experiences I would not be the woman I am today.
How do you stay involved as an Alumni?
As an Alumni and a resident of Dahlonega, I follow the school athletics along with the expansion plans. I attend annual Kappa Delta events and stay in touch with many professors. As a prior UNG intern, I now have the privilege to lead the current UNG interns at Chestatee Elementary as a mentor and liaison. But my favorite way to be involved is to always sing the highest praises for UNG, that hidden gold nugget among the hills!